Bill & Joffa Kerr
Museum Founders • Jackson, WY
Distinction: The Kerrs helped found the National Museum of Wildlife Art, which has bestowed increased credibility on wildlife art as a genre.
What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in the art world over the years? The dramatic increase in collector interest and museum exhibits dedicated to western and wildlife art.
You contributed significant artworks to create the museum’s core collection. Why did you to contribute in this way? All of us founders shared a conviction that wildlife art was worthy of museum audiences and relevant to an expanding public concern for wilderness and nature.
What are you proudest of about the museum? The museum’s coming of age with a talented broad of trustees, a great professional staff, incredible volunteers, and loyal members. All of us are more than proud to be preparing for the museum’s 25th anniversary in 2012.
What do you think the public gets out of visiting the museum? Great art, good food, delightful gift shopping. In short, a real bargain.
How do you think the museum has contributed to public awareness and appreciation for wildlife art? The museum, with is exhibits and educational programs, is contributing to a phenomenal growth in environmental stewardship and an expanding connoisseurship for wildlife in art. As John Dryden observed nearly four centuries ago, “By viewing Nature, Nature’s handmaid Art, makes mighty things from small beginnings grow.”
Describe the museum in one word. Timeless.
How do you think Southwest Art has contributed to appreciation of wildlife art and the careers of wildlife artists? Southwest Art has made numerous contributions. It nourished the museum’s early years with publicity. Additionally, with continuing coverage of wildlife art, the magazine has presented works by artists, both established and emerging, to a national audience. We think affectionately of the magazine as particeps criminis (partners in crime).
Featured in “40 Prominent People” in May 2011.